What is the big deal about the Board exams? I have asked myself this question a million times whenever I was hyperventilating before my own Board exams. Now, I want to address this question to the parents, the schools and especially the media. Just last week, there was an article in the newspapers making sensationalist claims of how about 6000 children committed suicide in the year 2006. It said that most of the deaths were due to exam pressure as children could not cope with them.
Who drove these kids to take such drastic steps? What made them believe that they won’t be able to handle the pressure? The answer lies in that very article giving out such disturbing information. Don’t you think that when children read such news day in and day out, it would just add to the pressure they are already under?
In my opinion, the media scavenges around for such information especially around the time of the Boards. It is simply their way of attracting the reader’s attention. According to me, reporting about the suicides and the possible drastic changes in the question papers is not being professional at all. A student preparing for an exam does not want to know how many suicides have taken place or how the CBSE plans to introduce last minute changes in the papers. This leads to more tension. Even if a student has not yet thought of the option of suicide, he/she will after being informed by the media!
I normally never bring the parents into the picture. Yet, it is also true that competition has reached overwhelming heights and everyone is part of the donkey race (I don’t say rat race because I feel that competition makes us slog like donkeys!). But, at the end of the day, they are just kids, not robots. If Taare Zameen Par has taught me anything, it is simply that each child is special in his/ her own capacities. What one can achieve, the other might not. So isn’t it better for the parents not to have sky rocketing expectations from their kids 24×7?
Furthermore, the “Almighty Indian Education system” has to be revamped as well. Admission to colleges should not be based on the Board exams. The very fact that going to a decent college (or any college for that matter) depends on these marks is what makes these exams such a huge deal. In my opinion, admission to higher educational institutions should be on the basis of admission tests. I know several people will disagree with me on this account. However, it is less risky and comes without the whole hype attached with the Boards. One thing to be noted is that there are different education Boards followed in the country. Some are considered easier and others difficult. This poses a problem when the cut-offs come out. Common Admission Exams would help bring a certain uniformity to the system.
Lastly, one major thing to be kept in mind (media people pay attention!) is this: the Board exams are like any other exams which you give. They do not test your IQ levels. And 20 years later, will you really care about how much you scored in these exams? I don’t think so. Hence, cheer up class XII and X students, because the summer holidays are just a month away!
[image courtesy: http://flickr.com/photos/jckhamken/474204762/sizes/m/]